Former President Barack Obama and current President Joe Biden didn’t have the greatest of relationships during Obama’s campaigning and time in office, despite the public appearance of being close-knit friends, an upcoming book reveals, with Biden having doubts that Obama’s “eggheads” viewed him as a nuisance.
While the relationship between the two was viewed as a near-perfect friendship during their time in office, a report on the book from the Daily Mail reveals the misgivings that both men had towards each other, both in the early days of campaigning and throughout Obama’s two terms in office.
The book, titled “The Long Alliance: The Imperfect Union of Joe Biden and Barack Obama,” claims that “The biggest insult to Biden was how little his input mattered to Obama’s inner circle” and that “Biden could hardly shake the suspicion that Obama’s eggheads saw him as a foolish distraction they couldn’t fully trust.”
Biden was reportedly “wary of fresh faces” and envied the attention Obama created but was willing to meet with him one-on-one early in their professional relationship. He offered to grab dinner with him at a restaurant near the Capitol, saying that it would be “nothing fancy.”
Obama, however, took offense to the comment saying, “We can go to a nice place, I can afford it,” ending the meeting on a “sour and uncomfortable note.”
Obama viewed Biden’s offer as “condescending at best, borderline offensive at worst” and considered his future VP “old-school,” the book says.
The book claims that Obama told his adviser David Axelrod, “Joe Biden is a decent guy but man, that guy can just talk and talk. It’s an incredible thing to see.”
It wasn’t the only comment the former president made on Biden’s capacity for lengthy speaking. Obama said Biden tended to “ramble, clearly loving every minute of it.”
During a confirmation hearing for secretary of state nominee Condoleezza Rice, Obama wrote a note to a staffer saying, “Shoot. Me. Now.” Biden was, at the time, helping to lead the Senate proceedings.
Biden didn’t help their budding relationship when in 2007 he called Obama “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy” in an interview with the New York Observer.
When it came time to choose his running mate, Obama was “pragmatic, not emotional” and recognized that Biden appealed to white voters who were suspicious of him. However, Biden initially refused Obama’s offer, which he would later recount publicly. It was his family that talked him into it.
Their relationship took another hit in 2012 when Biden announced ahead of Obama that they were coming out in support of gay marriage. The then-president planned to announce it on a TV interview with Robin Roberts, the “Good Morning America” host.
Before he could, Biden gave a TV interview, stating that it was his own opinion that sparked national headlines about the significance of the statement.
Obama’s aide’s expressed “disbelieving fury” and said that “We can’t trust him to say his lines and he’s out of practice anyway.”
Others ranted: “He’s ruined what should have been Obama’s historic moment because he can’t control his loud mouth” or simply asked, ”What the f***?”
Biden’s actions were “tantamount to betrayal … an example of Biden trying to position himself in front of the president,” according to the book.
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